Ascertaining and Disclosing Material Facts in the Hawaii Exam

To pass the Hawaii real estate exam and become a licensed professional, it is crucial to have a solid understanding of the various aspects of real estate transactions, including ascertaining and disclosing material facts. In this blog post, we will explore the different topics covered in the state portion of your Hawaii real estate exam. We cover all of these topics in our PSI based topic quizzes. If you want to start studying these today, check out Hawaii Real Estate Exam Prep.

1. Bureau of Conveyances/Land Court:

The Bureau of Conveyances and Land Court play a significant role in Hawaii’s real estate transactions. Familiarize yourself with the functions and responsibilities of these entities, including their roles in recording and maintaining property ownership records, land title searches, and ensuring the accuracy and legality of property transfers.

a. Documents and Indexes:

Understanding the various documents and indexes used in real estate transactions is essential. Be knowledgeable about common documents such as deeds, mortgages, leases, and liens. Additionally, learn how to effectively navigate and interpret property indexes, including grantor/grantee indexes and property tax records.

b. Conveyance Tax:

The conveyance tax is a crucial aspect of real estate transactions in Hawaii. Study the applicable tax rates, exemptions, and requirements. Understand the circumstances under which the conveyance tax is imposed, such as property transfers, and learn the calculation methods used to determine the tax amount.

2. Tax Office:

Familiarize yourself with the functions and procedures of the local tax office. Understand how to interact with the tax office for matters related to property taxes and assessments. Learn about the various services provided by the tax office, such as property valuation, tax payment processing, and the appeals process. Be knowledgeable about the timelines and deadlines associated with property tax payments and assessments.

a. Tax Maps:

Tax maps provide essential information about property boundaries, zoning districts, and tax classifications. Learn how to interpret tax maps accurately and understand their significance in assessing a property’s value, use, and potential restrictions.

b. Real Property Taxes and Assessments:

Gain a comprehensive understanding of real property taxes and assessments in Hawaii. Study the procedures for determining property valuations, the calculation of property taxes, and the appeals process. Be aware of how property taxes and assessments impact buyers and sellers in real estate transactions.

c. Other State Taxes (e.g., HARPTA, GET):

In addition to real property taxes, Hawaii has other state taxes that can affect real estate transactions. Examples include the Hawaii Real Property Tax Act (HARPTA) and the General Excise Tax (GET). Learn the requirements, exemptions, and implications of these taxes to effectively advise your clients and fulfill your disclosure obligations.

3. Statutory Disclosures:

Hawaii has specific statutory disclosure requirements that real estate professionals must adhere to. Familiarize yourself with these obligations, including the content, timing, and delivery methods of disclosures. Topics covered may include flood zone disclosures, smoke detector certifications, and other mandatory disclosures.

a. Seller Disclosure Law:

The Seller Disclosure Law in Hawaii mandates that sellers provide potential buyers with accurate and comprehensive disclosures about the property’s condition and any known defects. Study the requirements of this law, including the forms used for disclosure and the responsibilities of both sellers and real estate professionals in facilitating this process.

b. Leasehold Disclosures:

Leasehold properties are prevalent in Hawaii’s real estate market. Understand the unique aspects of leasehold ownership, including lease terms, rent payments, and disclosure requirements. Familiarize yourself with the necessary disclosures and ensure your clients are fully informed when considering leasehold properties.

c. Planned Community Associations:

Planned community associations, such as homeowners associations (HOAs), play a significant role in many real estate transactions. Study the functions and regulations of these associations, including membership requirements, fees, and rules

d. Distressed Property and Short Sales:

Distressed properties and short sales are common in real estate markets, including Hawaii. Familiarize yourself with the unique considerations and procedures involved in these transactions. Understand the differences between foreclosure, pre-foreclosure, and short sale processes. Learn about the potential challenges and opportunities that arise when dealing with distressed properties and how to effectively disclose relevant information to clients.

4. Environmental Conditions:

Hawaii’s unique ecosystem and geographical features necessitate an understanding of environmental conditions that may impact real estate. Study potential concerns such as volcanic activity, coastal erosion, and protected wildlife habitats. Be aware of the environmental assessments and disclosures required for properties located in environmentally sensitive areas. Knowing how to address and disclose these factors will help you guide your clients towards informed decisions.

5. Hawaii Land History and Property Rights:

Hawaii has a rich land history and unique property rights considerations. Familiarize yourself with concepts such as Hawaiian land divisions, traditional land use practices, and the impact of the Great Mahele. Understanding the historical context and cultural significance of land ownership in Hawaii will enhance your ability to provide accurate information to clients and ensure ethical practices.


Seems like a lot to remember? At Hawaii Real Estate Exam Prep we offer many topic based quizzes focusing on just these subjects to help you study. Ascertaining and disclosing material facts is a crucial part of the Hawaii real estate exam and the professional responsibilities of real estate agents. By thoroughly understanding the topics covered in this blog post you will be well-prepared to excel in this portion of the exam. If you want to pass your exam on the first try, study using Hawaii Real Estate Exam Prep.